Okay, so officially the Nexus One launched the day before the day before CES started (i.e. the day before Press Day). But Google had a booth at the Pepcom press event in Vegas, and it happened close enough together to fold N1's launch into CES in my book, anyway.
Despite the insane hype that smarty-pants tech bloggers - like me - built up around the Earth-shattering business model that we hoped Google might unveil, but never did, Nexus One is still a darn good smartphone. I don't know if I'd venture into "Superphone" territory like Google's Marketing team, but I will say it's the best Android device currently available. What it gives up to Droid (hard QWERTY board) and Droid Eris (HTC's Sense UI) it makes up for with Voice Input, a responsive 3.7" touchscreen and a zippy Qualcomm Snapdragon processor under the hood.
And it's thin, sleek, and feels great in the hand.
And it runs Android 2.1 which adds a few nice little UI touches that make the whole package a tad more consumer friendly.
Then there's the whole "Branded by Google, sold by Google" thing that Nexus One just ushered in. I frankly have no idea what Google's got in store for their new online retail presence, but if you believe them N1 is just the first in a long line of devices they'll be selling direct to consumers around the world. A $529 unlocked / $179 with T-Mobile contract Nexus One is either "just another phone" or "the best Android device yet," depending on how you look at it. But there's more to the story, even if it turns out we'll have to be patient about finding out what else Google & Friends have up their sleeves when it comes to branding devices and selling them straight to consumers.
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